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John Mauldin

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John Mauldin is a renowned financial expert, a New York Times best-selling author, and a pioneering online commentator. Each week, over 1 million readers turn to Mauldin for his penetrating view on Wall Street, global markets, and economic history.

January 10th, 2021 | Year of the Gripping Hand

Thoughts from the Front Line - This week’s letter is the first part of my 2021 forecast. There is simply too much to cover in one letter, and today we’ll start with the most important factor, a known unknown, that I think will be the driver for 2021. Before beginning, I want to make two points, one about my personal investment […]

December 20th, 2020 | Stock Market Party

Thoughts from the Front Line - The end of 2020 has me looking back. I started writing the letters that later became Thoughts from the Frontline back in the late 1990s. Similar to COVID-19 today, we had a giant macro issue then, too: Y2K. It’s hard to believe now how frightened some people were. But as I expected, the big day […]

December 13th, 2020 | Survival of the Biggest

Thoughts from the Front Line - The essential point to grasp is that in dealing with capitalism we are dealing with an evolutionary process… At the heart of capitalism is creative destruction. …Situations emerge in the process of creative destruction in which many firms may have to perish that nevertheless would be able to live on vigorously and usefully if they […]

December 6th, 2020 | Elites on the Edge

Thoughts from the Front Line - Growing income and wealth inequality were on my (and probably your) radar screen long before COVID-19 came along. The pandemic has made them both more obvious and more urgent. The actions by the Federal Reserve have widened the gap. We are now in a situation where society’s upper echelon can easily stay safe and prosperous […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - A Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my US friends. This year was different for many of us—sometimes by choice, sometimes not. But there’s one bit of good news I think we can all share: The holiday season means 2020 is almost over. Soon, we’ll be able to turn the page. Each year at this time, […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - A quick note before I start: Some of you didn’t get last week’s letter because some major internet providers decided it was junk mail. This was maddening but beyond our control. It may be in your “spam” or junk folder. You can help us train the algorithms by marking them as “not spam.” Remember, you […]

November 8th, 2020 | Complexity Wins Again

Thoughts from the Front Line - Here in Puerto Rico we are now an hour ahead of Eastern Time, as we don’t do daylight savings time. I stayed up much later than normal on election night to watch the returns. I knew fairly early, when Florida and North Carolina looked so close, we weren’t going to see a “blue wave.” But […]

November 1st, 2020 | What Will Not Change

Thoughts from the Front Line - “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” —Sir Isaac Newton, 1675   If you feel a bit overwhelmed, you’re not alone. A lot is happening right now. The US has a big election next week. We’re all on edge about the pandemic, which appears to be getting worse […]

October 25th, 2020 | The Green Shoots of 2020

Thoughts from the Front Line - Those who lived through the last financial crisis might may recall the Green Shoots episode. It drew laughs on March 15, 2009, shortly after the Federal Reserve fired its heaviest artillery and, we now know, launched the longest bull market in history. Appearing on 60 Minutes, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said the recession’s end was […]

October 18th, 2020 | Caught in a Debt Trap

Thoughts from the Front Line - We’re caught in a trap I can’t walk out Because I love you too much baby Elvis Presley’s rendition of Suspicious Minds topped the record charts in 1969. The lyrics portray a romance that couldn’t work, but was also impossible to escape. That’s also a good way to describe our relationship with government debt. We […]

October 11th, 2020 | Timeline to the New Normal

Thoughts from the Front Line - Like everyone else, I am weary of this pandemic mess. I want to travel freely, enjoy dinner with friends, hug, and shake hands. And, of course, I want everyone who lost jobs and businesses to get them back. I wasn’t thrilled with the economy a year ago, but I’d take it again in a heartbeat. […]

October 4th, 2020 | Debt Bugs and Windshields

Thoughts from the Front Line - “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.” —Ludwig von Mises Economic recovery is coming, we are told, because the economy has found a new equilibrium. We are supposedly adapting to the new-normal pandemic world, with monetary and (some) fiscal stimulus filling any gaps. Except that’s […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - Amid all 2020’s new problems, it’s easy to overlook the old ones. Yet they are still there and, like a silently spreading virus, silently getting worse. One such problem is debt, and specifically government debt. All debt shares one common characteristic. A bill comes due at some point and, if the borrower doesn’t pay, the […]

September 20th, 2020 | Stall Speed Economy

Thoughts from the Front Line - When Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown in 1781, tradition has it that the British band played an old English children’s folk tune, “The World Turned Upside Down.” Painting by John Trumbull If buttercups buzz’d after the bee, If boats were on land, churches on sea, If ponies rode men and if grass ate […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - Simply discussing COVID-19 will undoubtedly make this letter controversial and, in some circles, political. That is not my intent. I truly believe that something affecting all of us so deeply should be kept in the scientific realm to the extent possible, not the political. Sadly, that is not the case today in many countries. My […]

September 6th, 2020 | Inflation Virus Strikes Fed

Thoughts from the Front Line - One little-noted aspect of central bank policy is how rarely “policy” happens. Officials at the Federal Reserve and elsewhere long ago learned how to achieve their goals without actually doing anything. Creating perceptions is often enough to modify people’s behavior. For instance, if traders simply believe the Fed will intervene should interest rates go above […]

August 30th, 2020 | Light in the COVID Tunnel

Thoughts from the Front Line - If you ever think you just can’t win, I know how you feel. I’m labeled both a doomsayer and a Pollyanna—sometimes in reaction to the same letter. In fact, I am neither. I used to be the “muddle-through” guy who acknowledged difficulty but expected eventual success. Recently I modified that to “stumble-through,” acknowledging today’s more […]

August 23rd, 2020 | Business on the Frontline

Thoughts from the Front Line - I write this introduction from an all-too-short vacation in Montana (more below). This week I have asked my longtime associate Patrick Watson to step in and write Thoughts from the Frontline, offering his perspective as a small business owner. As you read this, realize his story is being played out hundreds of thousands of times […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - “It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.” —Harry S. Truman, 33rd US President In recent weeks, numerous commentators started to suggest the US and the world are entering a depression. For some areas of the economy, that is clearly true. But not every area. Today we […]

August 9th, 2020 | Yellow Flag Jobs Data

Thoughts from the Front Line - As I file this letter Friday morning, people are reacting to the July jobs report. My own reaction: The headline report is absurd. I will explain further at the end of this letter. But first, I have another topic. Regular readers know I worry about debt, mainly that the world has too much of it. […]

August 2nd, 2020 | European Resurgence

Thoughts from the Front Line - One of COVID-19’s many less-than-obvious consequences is the way it makes us look inward. Facing mortality has always done that, of course. West Texas Judge Roy Bean reportedly said, “Nothing focuses the mind like a good hanging.” For the vulnerable and those of us of a certain age (ahem), this virus goes beyond the normal […]

July 26th, 2020 | Valuation Inflation

Thoughts from the Front Line - In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” —Benjamin Graham You may have noticed a bit of manic activity in the stock market. You may have also noticed inflation (as measured by various government agencies) is quite low, despite a supply interruption in […]

July 19th, 2020 | Small Business Blues

Thoughts from the Front Line - Politicians love saying small businesses are important to the economy. In this case, it isn’t just rhetoric. The millions of little companies with a handful of workers are, collectively, more important than the few hundred large enterprises we see in the news. That’s one reason the corona crisis has been so economically devastating. It hit […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - Work has always been a fact of life. Paycheck-producing jobs are actually a recent development. Until the Industrial Revolution, most people lived on subsistence agriculture, sustaining themselves with whatever they could produce or working as slaves/serfs. The practice of producing something you wouldn’t personally use had been around but reached a new stage with the […]

July 5th, 2020 | The Blacker Swan

Thoughts from the Front Line - “A similar effect is taking place in economic life. I spoke about globalization in Chapter 3; it is here, but it is not all for the good: it creates interlocking fragility, while reducing volatility and giving the appearance of stability. In other words, it creates devastating Black Swans. We have never lived before under the […]
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